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Nitish, Naidu may dump NDA, help INDIA bloc form govt: RJD

Nitish, Naidu may dump NDA, help INDIA bloc form govt: RJD
The RJD on Tuesday afternoon claimed that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Telugu Desam Party president Chandrababu Naidu "shared a dislike for vendetta politics" which could lead them away from the BJP-led NDA. RJD national spokesperson Manoj Kumar Jha also recalled the forecast of Kumar, who heads the JD(U), that "those who came to power will be ousted in 2024", and the efforts he made in laying the foundation of the INDIA bloc.

"We have been, formerly, in alliance with both Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu. We know they share a dislike for vendetta politics which the BJP stands for. Narendra Modi seems to be on his way out. We are hopeful that the two leaders will play a crucial role in the change of guard at the Centre," Jha told reporters here.

He also made it clear, "I am making no appeal to Nitish Kumar or Chandrababu Naidu. I am only expressing my hope, given the understanding I have of their temperament".

Notably, the JD(U) has put up a better than expected performance in Lok Sabha polls, establishing a lead in 14 out of the 16 seats it had contested, surpassing the BJP which had fought 17 but was trailing in five of these.

In Bihar, the INDIA bloc was leading in only eight out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats but Jha was confident that the numbers would look up for the coalition in the state, even as he complained about the tardy pace of counting.

"We have written to the Election Commission drawing attention towards the extremely slow pace of counting. Only 3-4 lakh votes have been counted till afternoon in most seats in Bihar where, on an average, about 10 lakh people have exercised their franchise in each constituency," said Jha.

"We are confident that as the counting progresses, in many seats where we are trailing by slender margins, the picture will change. But we urge the Election Commission to carry out the exercise as per the rule book and not act on any telephone calls they may be getting from Delhi," said the Rajya Sabha MP, who has been alleging that the poll panel has often acted under pressure from the ruling BJP at the Centre.

"To all our cadres in the INDIA coalition, I would appeal not to let their guard down. Counting may continue till late in the evening. We must remain vigilant," said Jha.

Among the INDIA constituents in Bihar, RJD had contested 23 seats, out of which it was trailing in all but four, while Congress, which got nine seats, was leading in two. The CPI(ML) Liberation, which had contested three seats, was leading in two.


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